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Full text of "Byzantine Churches In Constantinople"

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Hodegetrla. No relic was held in higher estimation. It was considered to be the portrait of the mother of our Lord painted by S. Luke, and was brought from Jerusalem to Constantinople by the Empress Eudocia5 wife of Theodosius IL, as a present to her sister-in-law Pulcheria, It led the hosts of the Empire to victory^ and shared the honours of their triumphal entry into the capital. When enemies besieged the citys the eikon was carried in procession through the streets and around the fortifications^ or was placed near the post of danger. After the capture of the city by the Latins the picture was first taken to S. Sophia, then the cathedral of the Venetian patriarchs of Constantinople. But the Venetian clergy of the Pantokrator claimed the sacred picture as their own, in virtue of a promise made to them by the Emperor Henry ; and when their claim was ignored, they persuaded the podesta of the Venetian community to break into S* Sophia and seize the eikon by force* In vain did the patriarch appear upon the scene with candle and bell to excommunicate the podesta, his council, and his agents for the sacrilegious act. The coveted prize was borne off in triumph to the Pantokrator. In vain did the Papal Legate in the city confirm the excommunication of the guilty parties, and lay their churches under interdict In vain were those penalties confirmed by the Pope himself.1 The eikon kept its place in the Pantokrator notwithstanding all anathemas until the fall of the Latin Empire, when it was removed from the church to lead the procession which came through the Golden Gate on the 15th August 1261, to celebrate the recovery of Constantinople by the Greeks.2
Towards the close of the Latin occupation the monastery became the residence of the Latin emperor, probably because the condition of the public exchequer made it impossible to keep either the Great Palace or the palace of Blachernae in proper repair. Money was not plentiful in Constantinople
1  Belin, Histoire de la latlnitt de Constantinople', pp. 73-74, 113-14'
2  Pachyrn. i. p. 160 ; Niceph. Greg. p. 87 ; G, Acropolita, pp. 196-97,   The last writer says the elkon was taken from the monastery of the Hodegon, which was
its proper shrine.    The eikon may have been removed from the Pantokrator to the church of Hotlegetria on the eve of the triumphal entry.